House leaders oppose defense cuts

April 27, 2010 at 7:46 AM

WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- A proposed $4 billion cut to the international affairs budget is a threat to U.S. national security, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.

The Senate Budget Committee last week passed a measure aimed at trimming the national deficit by cutting non-defense measures. The Washington Post notes that about half of the cuts come from the U.S. State Department, to the ire of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sharply criticized the cuts. Berman said the budget request slashed "critical funding" for civilian efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

"The notion that this budget would have no impact on our national security funding is simply misleading," complained Berman.

The Post said Friday that Senate leaders aim to consider the measure before the Memorial Day holiday, though lawmakers in the House of Representatives could move to block the effort.

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